How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Greater Toronto Area — if you qualify

Everyone over the age of 60 can start trying to book appointments to get their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine — although they’ll access it through different avenues.

Ontario remains in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout plan. You’ll need to keep waiting if you’re under 60 and not at high risk of contracting COVID-19 (as determined by the province).

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine-canada-mileniostadium
Ontarians aged 75 and up, some accompanied by relatives and caregivers, attend a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at the East York Town Centre mall, in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood, on March 24, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
  • UPDATE | Toronto, Peel and York are now allowing anyone over 70 to book a vaccination

Here’s who can get a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Those born in 1946 or earlier or before — this group can book any way they like.
  • Indigenous adults.
  • Prioritized groups like health-care workers.

Here’s how you’ll get it:

  • If you’re over 70 in some regions or over 75 in others, you can use vaccination sites set up by your public health unit (scroll down for details).
  • If you’re between 60 and 70, you can try to book a vaccine appointment at a pharmacy or through your primary care physician. You cannot book at a mass vaccination site at this time.

Also, you should only be vaccinated in the city or region you live in — remember, the overarching goal is still to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, which means staying close to home as much as possible. Experts warn we are in a third wave of the pandemic driven by coronavirus variants that are more transmissible than the original strain of the virus.

This article is the best picture CBC Toronto can provide of vaccine distribution in the Greater Toronto Area right now, with the caveat that the current landscape will almost certainly look different in the coming weeks.

First, a disclaimer: This guide is intended for the general public, and doesn’t capture those who will be vaccinated by specialized teams — for example, mobile teams distributing vaccines in homeless shelters or other congregate settings. Now that’s clear, here’s where you should go to book a vaccination spot if you qualify.


Here’s the province’s centralized COVID-19 booking site. There’s also a phone line for those who need it: 1-888-999-6488.

If you are calling, make sure you know if you qualify. There have been confusions.

Toronto — mass vaccination sites open for those 70-plus

Toronto is now ready to start vaccinating those over 70, with some hospitals already allowing people born in 1951 and earlier to book vaccination spots.

Toronto Public Health is now overseeing more than 25 vaccination sites (including mobile operations), including four mass vaccination sites, with more set to open soon. The newest site is at the East York Town Centre, and aims to serve the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood.

You will still need to make an appointment, walk-ins or stand-by appointments are not available. A number of Toronto pharmacies are now offering COVID vaccines to those born in 1961 or earlier. You can find a full list all of the pharmacies that will offer the vaccine as of Friday (Kingston and Windsor-Essex are also part of the pilot) in the document, please click here.

York — mass vaccination sites open for those 70-plus

York Region is offering vaccine booking to those age 70-plus. Those people can search for booking slots ever day at 8:30 a.m. Note: You must book online and please only book once.

High priority health-care workers in the region are now eligible for a vaccine, as well. You can check here to see if that’s you. The region has also opened a drive-thru mass vaccination site at Canada’s Wonderland.

Durham — mass vaccination sites open for those 75-plus

Durham’s program is up and running, though also dealing with a limited supply of vaccine. There are four clinics running in Clarington, Pickering, Oshawa and Whitby.

Bookings open at 8 a.m. daily and the public health unit is urging seniors to not arrive more than 10 minutes before their vaccination slot so they don’t have to wait outside.

Halton — mass vaccination sites open for those 70-plus

Halton is running six appointment-only vaccination clinics. You can book online here.  The public health unit is also offering free transportation to its clinics, though that travel must be booked 48 hours in advance.


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